Chan Ho Must Go

18 May

(also at P&P)Chan Ho Park dominated coming out of spring training, earning himself the fifth spot in the rotation. Here’s what I wrote about the decision:

Though Happ was disappointed, one can’t argue too much with this pick, seeing as Park dominated nearly every lineup he faced during spring training. Park’s hadn’t had an ERA+ over 100 since 2001 until he reemerged out of the bullpen for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.  Park’s history is fairly terrible, and to put too much stock in March results tends is a faulty strategy, but Happ is there as a good backup should Park crumble once the season begins.  For now, Park is the man in the rotation.

The opinion was even-handed, widely-thought, and wrong.  Park’s history shouldn’t have been so easily dismissed by me or anyone else. The man sucked for 7+ years, and I threw all that out the window because he mowed down some AAA ballplayers with high jersey numbers for about forty innings worth of pitching.

It ended up being wrong-headed of me, but I’m not the one that matters in the end; the Phillies’ front office is the one that makes the decision down in South Philly. They went with a guy with no history of success on the downside of a bad career over several up and comers who’ve shown their wares down the minors.  And they’ve paid for it, as Park’s done as we all should’ve expected. His numbers:

1-1   7.08 ERA   1.69 WHIP
21 Ks  17 BB    5 homers given up
.304 BABIP     5.50 K per 9 IP

He’s been a little unlucky with balls hit into play, but his inability to strike guys out, get the ball over the plate and simultaenously allow a ton of flyballs has led to several pathetic outings.  He’s allowed at least four runs in five of his seven starts.  He did pitch one gem, allowing just one hit in six innings against the Dodgers on May 12th.  However, this was a complete fluke, as his most recent disaster against the Nationals showed when they ran him from the game in the second inning. The Phils won the game, but he served up several softballs and got them in a hole early.

Chan Ho must go.  The experiment’s over, and the results are in.  It’s failed.  Time to eat the cost of his one-year deal and cut him like they did Adam Eaton. The question remains though: who replaces him?  I’d go with J.A. Happ, who’s excelled in his role as the long reliever.  He should be able to transition back to starter easily enough, as he hasn’t been used as a typical lefty out of the bullpen. In fact, seven of his 12 apperances have been at least two innings.

It’s obvious the Phils know Happ’s not going to stay in the bullpen; may as well move him back now while the getting is good.  The Phillies still have plenty of problems in their rotation, and yet sit 20 and 16 halfway through May.  With the worst performing rotation in the majors thus far, change can’t hurt.

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